Leicester City 2:1 Swansea City
City defeated Swansea and the elements to gain their first victory of the season at a stormy King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side with Amartey in for the injured Mendy and they started in lively fashion with Naughton blocking a Vardy shot early on.
Vardy caused more problems for the Swans defence before being brought down by Fernandez just outside the penalty area. The defender was booked and Mahrez sent his free-kick two feet over the bar. Drinkwater then went close but City were frustrated again.
Swansea had little to offer up front and Schmeichel comfortably held a Sigurdsson shot in a rare foray forward.
City’s opening goal arrived in the 32nd minute. Amartey, staking his place in midfield with a fine performance, won the ball on the edge of City’s area. Then Drinkwater combined with Mahrez before sending a perfectly weighted ball forward for Vardy. The City striker outpaced the Swans defence before blasting his first goal of the season in off the right hand post.
The rest of the game was played out in increasingly heavy rain, with lightning forking through black clouds. Okazaki arrowed a fine towards the top left hand corner but Fabianski was well positioned to tip it away for the last meaningful action of the first half.
Although Swansea started the second half trying to press forward they were 2-0 down seven minutes after the break.
Albrighton delivered a corner from the right, after an aerial challenge involving four players the ball deflected off Huth and then rolled over Morgan’s shoulder dropping in front of him. The City skipper reacted swiftly to volley it home from 6 yards.
Soon after this City suffered a setback when Schmeichel mis-kicked a clearance into the path of Llorente. The City keeper did very well to race off his line and clear the ball before the Swansea striker could take a second touch but injured himself in the process.
At the other end Vardy was tackled, and Okazaki collected the loose ball in the area but was given a whack on the shin by Amat for an obvious penalty. Mahrez’s spot-kick lacked both pace and direction and Fabianski had a fairly easy save to make.
Schmeichel was then replaced by Zieler, and the rain got even heavier.
The pitch coped very well until the closing stages, when puddles began to appear and water was flying up around the ball. With ten minutes remaining the visitors narrowed City’s lead when Barrow crossed from the right and Fer leapt like a salmon to nod past Zieler.
This made for a nervy last few minutes, but Simpson dealt well with a dangerous ball across the goalmouth and Swansea were struggling to create anything in the worsening conditions.
City broke upfield and after splashing his way into the area Mahrez set himself up for a curling effort which went just wide of the far post.
Fabianski then saved from substitute Musa before the ref’s whistle heralded City’s first win of the season.
Claudio Ranieri tried to play down the rave reviews given to Amartey: “I don’t want to speak of Kante. There is only one – there isn’t another in the world. He has gone and now we need to move on. But Amartey played very, very well. He now knows very well the Premier League. He can play centre-back, central midfielder, right-back, right winger and I am very pleased with him. He played very well, was solid, strong and recovered a lot of balls.”
Leicester: Schmeichel (Zieler 57), Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Amartey, Mahrez, Albrighton (Musa 74), Okazaki (Ulloa, 79) Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Hernandez, King, Gray.
Swansea: Fabianski, Amat, Fer, Llorente, Routledge (Ki 59), Barrow, Sigurdsson (Montero 59), Cork (McBurnie 86), Naughton, Fernandez, Kingsley. Subs Not Used: Van Der Hoorn, Nordfelt, Rangel, Fulton.
Referee: R East. Attendance: 31,727.
PHOTO: Simon Kimber
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